[NBLUG/talk] Concerning Linux compatibility with the new MacBook Pro
sampln at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jan 13 19:50:59 PST 2006
(Just in case anyone's interested...)
For those of you who have been hiding under a rock since Tuesday, Steve Jobs
has unveiled two new Macintosh computers that are powered by Intel
processors: a new iMac, and a new line of laptops called the MacBook Pro.
Apple's shift to Intel chips has led quite a few people to speculate that the
new Macs could dual-boot MacOS X and Windows. Of course, I'm sure that any
Mac fans on this list would only think of dual-booting MacOS X and Linux.
Anyway, I was at the Macworld Expo this week, and was able to convince one of
the Apple representatives to let me try to boot a MacBook Pro from a Knoppix
CD (v4.0.2 for PC, burned by myself to a CD-RW the previous day). While the
MacBook Pro recognized the CD when I put in (i.e. it appeared on the
desktop), it was unable to boot from it. I restarted the computer, holding
down the 'C' key after it made the start-up chime (which is how you tell a
new-world Mac to boot from a CD), and it STILL booted from the hard disk.
And unfortunately, there was no indication as to WHY it didn't boot from the
CD, although the information I've dug up thus far via Google suggests that
it's because the Intel Mac's boot sequence uses EFI
<http://www.intel.com/technology/efi/> instead of a traditional BIOS.
Obviously, it's virtually impossible to draw any conclusions from such a
simple experiment, but it looks like installing an OS other than MacOS X on
one of these Intel Macs is NOT going to be as easy as some people had hoped.
It should still be possible, though, as EFI was originally developed for
Intel's IA-32 processor, and Linux does support the IA-32. We'll probably
learn more once these new Macs start shipping next month.
<sampln at sbcglobal.net>
I think I'll KILL myself by leaping out of this 14th STORY WINDOW while
reading ERICA JONG'S poetry!!
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